Legacy of Jawaharlal Nehru Erased – Parts of History Removed from Indian Textbooks
A draft secondary school textbook posted online in the Indian state of Rajasthan, was found to include only a few or minimal references to Nehru, the country's first prime minister. There was no mention of his role in securing India's independence from Great Britain or guiding the country through its clamorous early years as a new democracy.
The education panel is led by Indias governing conservative Bharatiya Janata Party. The state have previously witnessed omission of chapters on Nelson Mandela and the works of English Poets like John Keats and T.S. Eliot, by the party. The Mandela chapter was deemed as "meaningless" by the party and it was replaced with writing on Indias tribal communities.
"It is strange and unfortunate Rajasthan students have been reading chapters on Africa and poems by foreign authors while they are ignorant about our own tribals and poets. These textbooks giving undue importance to foreign authors and chapters are meaningless," a senior committee member of the party told.
Howerver, the move has faced serious opposition from India's Congress Party leaders, led by the descendants of Nehru, including vice president Rahul Gandhi, his great-grandson.
The assassination of Mohandas K. Gandhi, regarded as the father of the nation, by Nathuram Godse, the man who had briefly been a part of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the Hindu nationalist group closely associated with the B.J.P., the party of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was also omitted from textbooks earlier.
Changing or rewriting Indian history has long been a matter of controversy, and a matter of serious political dispute. As the country's central government is taking steps to absorb a new national education policy, the intention behind such an act is being widely questioned.